I haven't checked in on Valorant in a few months now, but it's not surprising that Riot still doesn't quite know what to do with Viper. The toxin-based Controller agent has always been an awkward fit on a team due to her unique fuel mechanic, and an upcoming patch (opens in new tab) will once again rework her abilities in an attempt to make her viable in the meta. Currently, Viper can place reusable vision-blocking walls and smoke grenades, but they only last as long as she has fuel. Managing her remaining fuel can be a chore when you're also trying to coordinate with teammates and shoot straight.
To make Viper more worth the effort, Riot is adding even more bite to her toxic clouds and making her smoke grenade more maneuverable. Also under the microscope are Yoru and the Bucky shotgun, both of which Riot is buffing to be more effective in their intended situations. The Bucky change is particularly interesting, as the primary spread fire is tightening up to more closely match the ranged alt fire.
Here are the patch 2.06 highlights:
- Enemies that cross through Viper's Poison Cloud, Toxic Screen, or Viper's Pit are instantly inflicted with at least 50 decay. Their decay level increases the longer they remain in contact with toxin.
- While in cloud, Decay over time decreased 15 >>> 10
- When out of Viper’s cloud, delay before health regen decreased 2.5 >>> 1.5
Poison Cloud (Q)
- Can now immediately be redeployed when picked up, but grants a temporary charge instead of a permanent charge
- If active when Viper dies, Poison Cloud now remains up for an additional 2 seconds, or until Viper runs out of fuel.
- Pickup distance increased 200 >>> 400
Toxic Screen (E)
- If active when Viper dies, Toxic Screen now remains up for an additional 2 seconds before deactivating
- Full blind distance from the wall increased to better match the blind distance from the edge of smokes
- Equip time decreased 1.1 >>> .8
- Flash activation time decreased 0.8>>> 0.6 seconds
- Flash duration increased from 1.1>>>1.5
- Gatecrash is no longer refreshed on kills and is instead replenished every 35 seconds
- Lifetime of the Gatecrash fragment increased 20 seconds >>> 30 seconds
- The range at which the Gatecrash fragment is revealed from stealth decreased 7m >>> 4m
- Visuals for visibility range added to the moving fragment
Dimensional Drift (X)
- Ult Points reduced 7 >>> 6
- Yoru can now reactivate Gatecrash while in Dimensional Drift
- Primary fire (left-click) bullet spread decreased 3.4 >>> 2.6
- Decreased spread on Alt-fire (right-click) 3.4 >>> 2.0
- Updated damage curve for both primary and alt-fire: 0m–8m is 20dmg per pellet, 8m–12m is 12dmg per pellet, beyond 12m is 9dmg per pellet
- Reduced amount of pellets in a right click shot from 15 >>> 5
I'm very interested to see how the Bucky feels after this change. I like the idea of leaning into the shotgun's popular alt fire mode instead of trying to rein in the range to the original up-close design. The average range of a firefight in Valorant isn't ideal for the Bucky's current close-range blast, so it makes sense to further differentiate it from the Judge auto shotgun by cranking up its range.
There is one other tidbit in the patch notes worth talking about, like a new sound option called Head Related Transfer Function (HRTF) that allows players to "better pinpoint other players based on certain sounds" by using measurements of a person's head shape and ear size. The default setting is using a predetermined set of measurements that Riot warns "may not feel natural at first to all listeners depending on how closely the profile matches their own," but is encouraging folks to try it out and give feedback.